Chihuahuas For Dummies|Paperback (2023)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

What You’re Not to Read 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book Is Organized 3

Part I: Is a Chihuahua Your Canine Compadre? 4

Part II: Fitting a Compact Canine into Your Life 4

Part III: Positive Training for Your Petite Pal 4

Part IV: Chihuahua Care and Concerns 4

Part V: The Part of Tens 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Where to Go from Here 5

Part I: Is a Chihuahua Your Canine Compadre? 7

Chapter 1: Sharing Your Digs with a Dog: A Big Decision 9

Deciding If and Why You Want a Dog 9

Doggy Dependents Aren’t Tax Deductible: Chi-Care Duties 11

Considering the long-term cost 12

Placing your Chi in your daily schedule 12

Fitting your Chi into your family’s future 13

Picking up after your Chi 13

Viewing the Chihuahua as a Toy Breed 14

What’s terrific about Toys 14

Potential problems with portable pets 16

Making a Match with a Chihuahua 17

Chapter 2: What’s Behind That Unique Chihuahua Look? 21

Look for Yourself: The Classic Chihuahua 21

Striving for the Picture-Perfect Chihuahua 23

General appearance and demeanor 24

Size and proportion 24

Head 25

Neck, topline, and body 26

Tail 27

Forequarters 27

Hindquarters 29

Coat 29

Color 30

Gait 30

Temperament 30

What if Manchita Doesn’t Match the Standard? 31

Chapter 3: Perusing the Particulars of Chihuahua Charm 33

This Bit of a Dog Is Big on Character 33

Petite protectors 34

Close companions 34

Comfort-loving creatures 35

The ultimate house dog 36

Cautious compadres 36

Spirited, but not hyper 37

Unusually adaptable 38

Sensitive supporters 38

Quick studies when trained with TLC 38

Long-term friend 39

Friend to (most) other critters 39

Decisions, Decisions: Comparing Long/Smooth Coats 40

Battle of the Sexes: Observing Male and Female Traits 41

Checking a Chi Pup’s Résumé 42

Part II: Fitting a Compact Canine into Your Life 43

Chapter 4: Choosing Your Ideal Chihuahua 45

Buying from a Breeder 46

Visiting the breeder 47

Evaluating the breeder 47

(Video) How to Take Care of Chihuahua Dogs

Oh gee, why the third degree? 48

Pick of the litter 50

Breeder contracts 56

Surveying Additional Places to Purchase a Puppy 56

What about pet shops? 57

Classified canines 57

The Ups and Downs of Choosing a Mature Chihuahua 58

Understanding Pedigree 59

Deciphering full or limited registration 60

Registering your new dog 61

Chihuahuas without credentials 62

Chapter 5: Welcome Home, Little Amigo 63

Timing the Homecoming Just Right 63

Puppy-Proofing Your Chi’s Room 64

Shop till You Drop: Gathering the Chi Goods 65

Essentials for your new Chihuahua 66

Practical dishes 66

So many choices: What should your Chi eat? 67

A collar and leash 67

Grooming gizmos 68

Toys for Toys (dogs, that is) 69

A cozy crate 70

A snug bed 72

A useful sweater 72

Pooper-scooper 73

A trusted veterinarian 73

ID for dogs 73

Surviving the First Two Days 73

How to pick up your puppy 74

Blending dogs and kids 75

Matching older children and Chihuahuas 76

Introducing dog to dog 76

Why cats get the last meow 78

Living with furry, feathered, and scaled critters 78

Suppressing that Dangerous Fantasy of Freedom 79

Chapter 6: What’s on the Chi Menu? 81

How Nutrients Work 81

Building a healthy Chihuahua 81

Vitamins and minerals 82

Feeding for the First Few Days 83

How to change dog foods 84

When to change dog foods (if you must) 84

What You Need to Know about Commercial Dog Food 85

Beware of bargain brands 86

Regular brands versus premium brands 86

Dry dog food 87

Canned dog food 88

Semi-moist or soft-moist foods 88

What’s the solution? 89

What about treats and table food? 90

Foods for Special Reasons 91

Grub to grow on 91

Maintenance meals 91

Provisions for performers 91

Low-calorie lunches 91

Senior cuisine 92

Prescription dog food 92

Setting Puppy Feeding Schedules 92

Filling a Mature Chi’s Belly 93

Supper for seniors 94

Supplements for adults 94

Warning: Don’t Feed Your Dog Any of These Foods 95

(Video) Chihuahua Dogs: Personality, Temperament and Training | Chihuahua Facts 101 |

Chapter 7: Grooming the Body Beautiful 97

Keeping the Shine in Your Chihuahua’s Coat 97

Early starts are best 98

Grooming tables 99

Brushing 99

Ears Looking at You Chi! 102

Keeping Those Pearlies White 102

Removing retained puppy teeth 103

Heeding the symptoms of gum disease 104

Puppy-cure: Trimming the Toenails 104

Gazing into Your Chi’s Eyes 105

Bathing Your Beauty 106

The well-equipped bath 106

Let’s get wet! 107

Finishing touches for your long coat 108

Chapter 8: Chirobics: For Fitness and Fun 109

Make Exercise a Happy Habit 109

Games You and Your Chihuahua Can Play 111

Hide ’n seek 112

Catch ’n release 114

Munchkin in the middle 114

Fetching fun 114

Play-killing a critter 116

Exercising Your Super Senior 117

Part III: Positive Training for Your Petite Pal 119

Chapter 9: Socializing Your Chihuahua 121

Building a Bond with Your Chi 121

Interpreting Body Language (And Preventing Anxiety) 123

Understanding the “jitters” 124

Using the first 16 weeks wisely 125

It’s Party Time! Introducing Your Chi to Guests 126

Leaving Home: Hello, World! 126

Helping your pup overcome fear 127

Sudden Fear Syndrome 128

Attending kindergarten for puppies 129

Walking on a Lead 130

Socializing an Adult Dog 131

Chapter 10: Establishing Good Behavior and Manners 133

Making the Crate a Home Base 134

Housetraining — Avoiding Problems 135

Common Toy dog misconceptions 135

Keeping to a routine 137

Training yourself, a.m to p.m 137

Recognizing the signs of need 138

Dealing with accidents 139

Teaching Words that All Good Dogs Obey 140

Coming when called 140

Sitting pretty 141

Going down 142

Teaching stay 142

Making “No!” and “Enough!” effective 144

Preventing Common Problems 144

Teaching what’s okay to chew 145

Controlling barking 146

Deciding if jumping is okay 147

Nipping nipping 147

Preventing possessiveness 148

Chapter 11: Keeping Your Place as Head of Household 149

Curing Your Crybaby 149

Quieting Your Barker 150

Mouthing off at the door 151

Yapping for attention 152

(Video) Chihuahua 101 - Feeding, Grooming, Training & Health Care of Chihuahua

Housetraining a Stubborn Chihuahua 152

Marking — it’s a macho thing 154

Submissive urination 154

Reinforcing the “Drop It” Command 155

Humping (How Humiliating!) 155

Dealing with Dominance 156

Possessive pup adjustment 157

Changing your attitude 158

Dealing with hard cases 159

Trading for treats 159

Home Alone and Feeling Frantic 159

Adjusting your exits and entrances 160

Alleviating the anxiety 161

Chapter 12: Training Your Chi for Canine Events, Tricks, and for Show 163

Beginning Obedience Training 164

Reviewing obedience basics 164

Choosing an obedience instructor 166

Passing the Good Citizen and Temperament Tests 167

Getting Active in Agility 168

Therapy Dogs: Delighting the Elderly and the Infirm 169

How to Teach Your Dog a Trick or Two 170

The benefits of trick training 171

Pushing your dog’s performance buttons 171

Shaking Hands or Gimme Five 172

Waving hi and bye 173

Speak and Shhhh 175

Dancing the tango 175

Touring the Dog Show Circuit 176

How dogs are judged and other show basics 177

The ups and downs of showing dogs 180

Getting started in showing 181

Speaking dog show lingo 183

Part IV: Chihuahua Care and Concerns 187

Chapter 13: Visiting the Vet 189

Choosing Your Chihuahua’s Veterinarian 189

Being the Best Kind of Client 192

The Ins and Outs of the First Exam 193

Getting organized 194

Making the most of your first visit 195

No coddling allowed 195

Home again and more confused than ever 196

Understanding Those Vital Vaccinations 196

Different vaccines for different lifestyles 196

Taking extra precautions for Toy puppies 197

What does DHLPP mean? 198

Rabies 199

Just say “No!” to other deadly diseases 200

Administering Medicine the Correct Way 201

Spaying or Neutering for a Happier, Healthier Dog 202

Spaying 202

Neutering 203

Slapping an ID on (Or in) Your Dog 204

Sporting a tattoo 204

Fitted with a microchip 205

Chapter 14: Debugging de Dog 207

Just Say “No Way!” to Worms and Other Internal Bugs 207

Heartworms 208

Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms — yuck! 208

Giardia 210

Coccidia 210

Controlling the External Pests: Fleas, Ticks, and Mites 211

Defeating the terrible tick 211

(Video) Dogs' Body Language Explained

Fleas are no circus 213

Managing mites 215

Chapter 15: Dealing with Sickness, Injury, and Other Considerations 217

Recognizing the Signs of Sickness 218

Wait and see (but not very long) 218

Call your vet now 219

Emergency! 220

Handling Serious Issues: First Aid and Transportation 221

Heavy bleeding 222

Choking 222

Can’t catch breath 223

Broken leg 224

Heatstroke 224

Reviewing Veterinary Issues Specific to Chihuahuas 225

Subluxation of the patella 225

Hypoglycemia 225

Collapsing trachea 226

Heart murmur 226

Molera 226

Hydrocephalus 227

Going under anesthesia 227

Watching those eyes 227

Keeping Your Senior Sassy 228

Aid for your aging dog 228

Aching joints and other signs of aging 229

Coping with the Death of a Pet 230

Is euthanasia ever the best ending? 230

Handling your dog’s body 231

Helping Yourself and Your Family Heal 232

Part V: The Part of Tens 235

Chapter 16: Ten Questions to Ask Chihuahua Breeders 237

How Many Litters a Year Do You Breed? 238

Can You Tell Me All about This Dog’s Personality? 238

May I See the Pup’s Family? 238

May I Test This Pup’s Temperament? 239

May I Have a Copy of the Chi’s Schedule and Records? 239

What Kind of Health (Or Show) Guarantee Do You Offer? 239

Is This Pup Eligible for Full or Limited AKC Registration? 239

Will I Receive a Registration Application When I Buy? 240

What Dog Clubs Do You Belong To and Recommend? 240

May I Call or E-mail You for Advice After We Get Home? 241

Chapter 17: Ten Web Sites Where Chihuahua Lovers Gather 243

The Chihuahua Club of America 243

The American Kennel Club 244

Chihuahua FAQ 244

Chihuahua Rescue and Transport, Inc 245

Canadian Chihuahua Rescue and Transport 245

Everwonder 245 246

Agility Ability 246

Chihuahua Savvy 246

Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons 246

Chapter 18: Ten (Or So) Famous Chihuahuas 247

Tinkerbell Hilton 247

Bruiser 248

Wheely Willy 248

Gidget 248

Mojo 249

Xavier Cugat’s Dogs 249

Caranza 249

Tulip 249

Don Giovanni 250

(Video) Funny Chihuahua

Other Chihuahuas Associated with Celebrities 250


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